CATSKILL — An investigation into charges of misconduct at the state police barracks in Catskill that became a flashpoint in the election campaign for Greene County sheriff revealed that the allegations are unfounded, state police officials said Tuesday.
State Police Director of Public Information Beau Duffy said in a statement that the Internal Affairs Division investigated an anonymous complaint in 2018 regarding an alleged theft of evidence that occurred in 2010.
In early 2019, additional information about the allegation was referred to state police by the state Attorney General’s Office and was investigated.
“The investigation has closed and the allegations were not substantiated,” Duffy said Tuesday.
No disciplinary action is being taken against the informant, Duffy said.
The investigation was a point of contention between sheriff candidates Peter Kusminsky and Diana Benoit, although Kusminsky did not start at the Catskill barracks until 2013.
“Someone on the opposition has made false allegations and I do have faith in the system,” Kusminsky said in October. “I know this has been investigated. I believe that those who made false allegations will be held accountable for their actions.”
In her letter to Republican voters in June, Benoit referenced the investigation at the barracks.
The information regarding the theft of evidence from the barracks came from a Bureau of Criminal Investigations investigator who worked with Kusminsky, Benoit wrote.
“The person being investigated for the thefts is someone who Kusminsky supervised,” she wrote. “I know you are being told that this all occurred 10 years ago — way before Kusminsky was in charge of the Catskill BCI. That is false. The most recent allegation of theft happened as late as 2018. The allegation is that he knew that it was happening and condoned it and did not report it.”
Check back for more information on this developing story.